Acta Via Serica

Journal for Silk Road and
Central Asian Studies

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Original Articles Home > Acta Via Serica > Archives > Original Articles
Volume Vol. 2 No. 2
Pages pp. 89~112 (all 24 pages)
Publication Date December, 2017
Keyword Muhammad Iqbal, ethics, environmental ethics, Islam, Silk Road, Islamic
Abstract Today, we face many problems at the planetary, national, local, and personal level. What is interesting and important is the fact that the environmental crisis that we have been facing since the 1960s is seen by many environmentalists as a crisis of Western civilization, a slow collective suicide, and “the defining challenge of our age.” This fact has encouraged many environmentalists, thinkers, and activists to turn to the wisdom of the East for a better and deeper understanding of nature and humanity for a sustainable future. Moreover, environmental, social, and economic threats are aimed at everyone without discrimination, be they Christian, Jew, Muslim, or Buddhist. Therefore, the very nature of the environmental crisis and challenge requires a cooperative, global response. In this context, this study suggests that Eastern societies may re-discover the richness of their own traditions in the light of pressing environmental problems and offer new insights to respond to these problems. This paper will explore the possibility and relevance of Sir Muhammad Iqbal’s (1877-1938) ideas for an attitude of reverence and care for nature. It will suggest that his ideas could enlarge and enrich our perspective of ourselves vis à vis nature, and raise our “ecological consciousness” and moral responsibility to take action for the environment. It will be argued that Iqbal, as a great and towering son of the Silk Road and a bridge between East and West, is still relevant for us.